So, we’re stuck at home and don’t know what to do ?
With anxiety and depression setting in, we NEED to PULL OURSELVES TOGETHER.
But how do we do that?
The lockdown/quarantine that ensued with the setting in of the
COVID-19 virus is and has been creating history.
People losing their jobs, the economy going into recession, is only the tip of the iceberg of problems.
All this sure, leads to an individual’s frustration.
But fret not, I have a consolidated list of the things that you should NOT do during the lockdown period so that you can remain the most productive, and some pro tips to stop you from pulling your hair out.
So, Let’s get going.
No sorry, DON’T GO ANYWHERE during the lockdown.
(it was just a metaphor, on the off chance that you didn’t get it ?)
Just Kidding !
#01 Binging on Netflix or any other digital streaming service
I am a big fan of “NCIS” on Amazon Prime.
There have been days, at the start of the lockdown, that I have binge-watched the whole season of NCIS just in one day.
But, here’s the thing.
You are neither gaining anything nor contributing to anything when you binge-watch.
So, When can you say that someone is Binge Watching ?
Google Dictionary defines Binge-watching as, “the practice of watching multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession”.
If you are someone who tunes into one daily episode of Friends or any other show you like, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
The problem is, when, that one episode becomes two, two becomes six and before you know it, you have watched an entire season.
And now you are tempted to watch the next season because you are curious whether Rachel and Ross are going to get back together or not?
BUT, WAIT, STOP.
You have to ask yourself, why are you binging on T.V. shows?
Don’t you have better things to do?
Don’t you have dreams to achieve? Don’t you have vision boards to accomplish?
The only person who will encourage you to watch more shows are the service providers.
Some of the major drawbacks of binge watching are:
- It leads to Procrastination
- Restricts creative thinking
- Damages your eyes
- Makes you drowsy ….. and many more.
You could be doing a ton of other things, besides watching Netflix.
But above all, the major reason you should not be binge watching is that,
IT DEPRESSES YOU.
That’s right !
How in the world will watching T.V depress me?
You won’t realize this but, when you binge-watch, your days blend into each other. You lose track of time. And this brings in the feeling of anxiety and hopelessness which leads to depression.
Another negative is that when you binge-watch your favorite shows you get sucked into a fantasy world.
You are your favorite character in this fantasy world, and you keep replaying different scenes from the serial and how you would handle them.
This kills your productivity and blocks your intuitive thinking.
Now, I’m not talking about daydreaming. We’re all guilty of that.
But, imagining a parallel reality for hours, that does not even exist, is bad for your mental health.
How do you solve this problem?
Just, STOP WATCHING TOO MUCH T.V.
#02 Hitting the Snooze Button
When you are working at home or studying at home, the time that you took to travel and get dressed is being saved.
And that is why we have this tendency to hit that snooze button and sleep till the nth hour.
Even if we have to start work at a particular time, it does not matter if we are a little late. Because we don’t have a meeting to get to, we don’t have to report to our boss.
So, the lockdown has taken away our sole motivators for waking up in the morning.
But, you know what, waking up with your boss calling you is not the right way to go.
You need to freshen up, exercise, have breakfast, and be mentally ready to start your day. So that you can utilize it in the most productive way possible.
I know it is tempting to sleep just a little more, but don’t you feel great when you have accomplished everything on your To-Do List at the end of the day?
Here are some ways you can overcome the temptation of sleeping more than required :
- Tell yourself just before you go to sleep, that:
“I am the going to conquer tomorrow”
Repeat this in your mind, at least 5 to 6 times slowly.
Trust me, I have tried this, and it helps.
- Set ONE and ONLY ONE Alarm.
So, don’t go keeping alarms for 7:00, 7:05, 7:10….
Set one alarm and get up at the first ring.
- Don’t drink coffee or use your phone, just before you go to sleep.
Caffeine wakes you up artificially and raises your energy levels.
And the blue light from your phone screen restricts the production of melatonin (the hormones that are responsible for your sleep cycle).
- Set out your clothes that are going to be worn the next day.
By doing this, you are sub-consciously telling your mind that you have to get ready and get to work.
- Keep your phone away from your bed, so that you have to make an effort to snooze the alarm.
(which you probably won’t).
- Keep your phone on airplane mode at night.
So that any calls or notifications do not disturb your REM sleep.
- Drink a glass of water before you go to bed.
This way you will have to get up around morning to go to the loo.
So, stop hitting that snooze button and wake up to a bright and sunny morning.
#03 Having Breakfast during Lunch Time
This correlates to the previous point.
When you don’t wake up on time, you end up eating your breakfast around noon.
This is not right for your body clock. Eating the different meals of the day, at different times every day, is going to mess your digestive system.
You may experience constipation, loose motions, stomach ache, etc.
Now you don’t want that, do you?
But don’t get me wrong.
You shouldn’t be having breakfast at noon, but if that is when you eat every day, it’s absolutely fine.
You might have a job that starts later in the day.
I, for instance, wake up at 9:00 am and sleep at 2:00 pm.
This is my fixed schedule.
I always have breakfast at the same time every day (10:30 am).
If you are not deviating from your schedule, there shouldn’t be a problem.
However, during lockdown, you might be lower on your productivity and not have a fixed plan.
So, what is to be done to break this bad habit?
It’s actually quite simple to maintain a healthy eating schedule. Once you have set it right, you will start feeling hungry only at those times.
This way you are neither too full from the previous meal, nor are you too hungry which might lead to over-eating.
Here are some of the steps you can follow, to set a healthy meal schedule:
- Get up at the same time every day
This way, you don’t delay your breakfast – the most important meal of the day.
- Decide what ? you are going to eat when ? the night before.
This might not always be possible, but you can definitely schedule your meals during fixed slots of time.
- Lastly, don’t compromise on your mealtimes.
I have seen many people making the mistake of delaying their meals because of a meeting, a lecture, etc.
Always remember, your health comes first.
I’m sure there will be a way around to re-schedule your commitments.
But don’t skip that meal.
You can also read my article on 10 Tips to Have the Perfect Morning which will help you in being more productive in the morning.
#04 Watching too much news
I know, this sounds a little weird. But, hear me out.
Every news channel is talking about three things :
- The number of active cases of Corona in the world, your country, and the city.
- The number of deaths due to Corona in the world, your country, and the city.
- The worst affected continent, country, or city.
Now, is it just me, or is the above information very negative ?
It is important to be informed and take the necessary precautions.
But, too much of anything is not good for your health.
Watching too much news is one of them.
It has the following drawbacks :
- It puts you in a negative state of mind.
- The whole COVID-19 situation scares you more than it should
- And after the above two, you become extremely nervous and make bad decisions
And, Panic is Contagious.
Not only will you be panicking, you are going to spread the panic to your family and friends as well.
Now, let’s be honest.
How is your panic, going to help?
The only way you can contribute is to take precautions and keep yourself safe.
The pandemic is not going to go away if you watch the news 24 x 7 or if you tell your friends and family about the news you are watching.
In my opinion, don’t watch the news for more than an hour in a day.
The rest of the time you are free and want to watch the news, you can do these instead :
- Call up that friend with whom you used to share all your secrets, but with the time you drifted apart.
- Call up your parents (if they don’t live with you) and talk to them.
- Make a small donation to a relief fund set up.
(it could be set up by the government or the municipality or a company)
- Educate people about the precautions to be taken, if you happen to see someone without a mask.
We all have to come together, during this pandemic and support each other until this is over.
#05 Not Planning
If you have read any of my previous articles, you know how much I stress on the importance of planning your day.
Let me just give you the benefits of planning in brief :
- A well-devised plan helps you complete all the important tasks of the day and you are also left with time for recreation.
- It helps in time-management, as you are not wasting time thinking of what to do next.
- Your productivity sky-rockets, because you go from one activity to the next like a well-oiled machine without procrastinating about anything.
- Lastly, you have all the days of your life documented in a diary, which serves as good memorabilia.
If you are wondering, “How on earth am I going to make a good plan”
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. You can access a free printable of my daily and weekly planner just by entering your email id below.
This is an editable document. So, you don’t have to print the document.
You just have to download it on your computer or mobile and edit it whenever you decide to plan your day.
#06 Negative Introspection
When you are restricted only to your home, you are bound to develop negative thinking.
This especially happens to those, who live far away from their family.
The loneliness alone can lead to some craziness.
If you are feeling the following :
- Why bother working/studying ? , the world is going to end anyway.
- I have nothing to look forward to….
- I don’t have anything productive to do, I feel useless…..
- With the pay cut, I am not going to be able to survive…..
then you are a victim of negative introspection.
Introspecting too much into yourself or too much into the future, is going to do more harm than good.
It is going to lead to sadness, anxiety and depression.
I have come across doctors saying that, since the pandemic, there have not only been rising cases of Corona but also, increasing cases of the physical symptoms of depression and anxiety.
This is not good for your health.
The pandemic is going to come to an end.
There is going to be a vaccine for Corona discovered.
And things are going to get back to normal.
“Nothing Lasts Forever”
And you should just keep saying this to yourself, whenever you experience negative emotions.
Here are some ways to distract yourself when you start thinking negatively:
- Listen to Music
- Watch your favorite web series / T.V. show (but be careful, don’t binge)
- Practice meditation or yoga
And you can discover any of your own ways to battle negativity.
So, that is all that from me.
Be sure, to avoid the above things to be super productive during the day.
I just feel this post is incomplete without giving some precautions which you should take to protect yourself from the virus.
I know, you have heard these guidelines a thousand times.
But, as a citizen of the world, I feel obliged to inform you again, just in case you have missed doing any of these.
So, here are some helpful safety measures you should take to keep yourself safe from the virus.
- Wash your hands repeatedly for at least 12 seconds, especially before eating food.
- Always wear a mask while stepping out of the house.
Don’t use the fancy cloth masks that are available in the market, it does not protect you from the virus.
The virus can still enter through the cloth.
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet while speaking to another person, especially if that person is not wearing a mask.
- Use sanitizers when you are outside, after touching anything.
- AVOID rubbing your eyes or touching your nose and mouth as much as possible.
- Always sanitize everything you bring from outside (eg: groceries, stationery items, other consumables, etc.).
If the item is such that it cannot be sanitized, keep it in sunlight for at least 24 hours before using it.
The Corona virus can survive on a surface for up to 24 hours; hence this precaution is very important.
- If you face any of the following symptoms:
1. Cough, Sneezing, Blocked nose, Sore throat
3. Breathlessness / Difficulty in breathing
4. Chills, etc.
Visit the nearest doctor and get yourself tested, to prevent the spread of the virus.
- If you are positive and have mild symptoms, try to isolate yourself at home as the hospital resources are scarce and a patient with many dire symptoms might need their care.
- Avoid going to the following places :
1. Shopping malls
2. Religious places
3. Multiplexes, theatres
4. Using public transport
5. Any other crowded place
- Lastly, educate your friends and families about the above precautions and stay safe.
Like I said, everything comes to an end, and so will this pandemic.
Until then, keep supporting and helping each other.
Drop a comment below on how you are coping with this pandemic.
Happy Reading ?